Todd Blackadder delighted as Bath see off Brive

Published: Saturday 1st April 2017 by The News Editor

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Bath boss Todd Blackadder praised his players’ response after they recovered from a battering against Saracens to reach this season’s European Challenge Cup semi-finals by beating Brive.

Wales back-row forward Taulupe Faletau and England wing Semesa Rokoduguni each scored two tries as Bath booked a last-four clash against Ospreys or Stade Francais later this month.

And it came just six days on from a 53-10 defeat at Allianz Park, where Bath suffered a heaviest Premiership defeat against any opponent for 15 years.

“I am really pleased with the response from last weekend,” Bath rugby director Blackadder said, following the 34-20 Recreation Ground triumph.

“They are always big weeks when you have got to turn things around really quickly. There were a lot of things to fix, but I feel we are definitely on the right track.

“It wasn’t hard this week. Things neded to be addresed, and we just highlighted things.

“It wasn’t a case of baby out with the bath water, but our attack just hadn’t been functioning. We hadn’t been scoring tries, and there were reasons for that.”

Fly-half Rhys Priestland added a penalty and three conversions, but Brive did not go quietly, as Faletau’s opposite number Fabien Sanconnie also claimed two tries, which were both converted by full-back Gaetan Germain, who also kicked two penalties.

Brive trailed by 21 points early in the second half, yet France international Sanconnie’s quickfire double from close range gave Bath plenty of food for thought.

The 2008 Challenge Cup winners, though, had enough in the tank.

“I was a little bit concerned when they got back to 27-20,” Blackadder continued. “We kept feeding their strengths. They are a big team, and we didn’t want to get into a set-piece battle with them.

“We started out with plenty of intent, and I am pleased with the result, although we can be so much better than what we were in the second-half.

“We wanted to ask a lot of questions and put Brive under the pump. I felt we did that in the first-half, but in the second-half, we had so many opportunities but didn’t make the most of them.

“They asked a lot of questions, but we can certainly be better than we were in the second-half.

“I thought Brive did a good job trying to shut us down, but I was pleased with our intent. We tried to play, and we changed our mindset from where it had been.”

Published: Saturday 1st April 2017 by The News Editor

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